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Meet Laura Milberg-Rein and Diane Milberg of Milberg Orthodontics in Hillcrest

Today we’d like to introduce you to Laura Milberg-Rein, Diane Milberg.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Laura, Diane. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Our Milberg Orthodontics story has two unique paths, spanning over four decades, that have converged and led us to where we are today! As a young girl, Dr. Milberg’s mother encouraged her to become a dentist when she grew up. Knowing that she would enter the dental profession, Dr. Milberg was just 20 years old when she started UCLA Dental school and was only 1 of 4 women out of nearly 400 dental students. At that time, society did not look kindly on “assertive” women and it was difficult for her to find her path without having supportive mentors and colleagues.

It was during dental school that Dr. Milberg decided to pursue the orthodontic specialty. She loved working with patients to help them achieve their personal goals of improved esthetics, dental health, and excellent dental function. She looked forward to seeing her patients frequently and valued the positive relationships that developed. Over the years, she has developed a patient-centered approach to orthodontic treatment. After over 40 years of practicing orthodontics, she still strives to be a role model for children, teenagers, and adults, by helping them value their health and teaching them how to take care of their bodies and teeth.

By the age of 7 years old, Dr. Laura already knew she wanted to be an orthodontist. As an elementary student, Dr. Laura and her brother would walk to their mom’s office after school and spend many afternoons watching Dr. Milberg interact with her patients and help change their lives. She began working in the office when she was a teen, and she envisioned herself one day working alongside her mother. After nearly 11 years of out-of-state education, Dr. Laura finally returned to San Diego in 2016 to pursue her dream of practicing with her mom.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Dr. Milberg went to the University of Washington for her Orthodontic training, and upon graduation she was the only female orthodontist in all of Washington state. Shortly after she graduated, she opened her first orthodontic practice. At the time, she had all male colleagues, and many of the dentists did not treat her as an equal or want to work professionally with a woman. It took patience and perseverance, but with time, she slowly developed a professional network and she learned how to succeed as a female professional in a male dominated profession. Her practice grew, as her colleagues acknowledged that female doctors could too provide excellent care.

Dr. Laura had a much smoother professional road, as she was surrounded by many women like her throughout her education. Her dental school class was nearly 50% female, and she was treated with respect from her colleagues and instructors. Dr. Laura’s personal struggles were when she was a patient in the dental chair. Despite her comfort in her mother’s office, she was a very fearful dental patient. She attributes her success as a patient to the compassion and kindness she was shown as a patient. Her own experiences have shaped her and molded her into the health care professional she is today.

Please tell us about Milberg Orthodontics.
We are a family orthodontic practice and one of the few mother-daughter orthodontic teams in the country! We have a personal approach to orthodontics, in which our patient’s care is fully individualized and unique to their needs. We strive to provide care to our patients in an environment that is positive, warm, empathetic, personalized, and encouraging. Our goal is to keep our patients engaged and motivated throughout their treatment while incorporating them as an extended member of our own family. We love to educate our patients and encourage them to become actively involved in their treatment. One of the most rewarding aspects of Dr. Milberg’s career is the honor of having former patients bring their own children in for orthodontic care, decades later.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Dr. Laura’s favorite memories from childhood were spent with her family. She loved her family vacations, trips, and many laughs that spanned their evenings. She especially loved spending time with her furry siblings – taking them on walks, adventures, and giving them much deserved hugs. Her mother’s love of music was passed on, as Dr. Laura grew up playing the French horn.

Dr. Milberg’s favorite memories also revolve around the nuclear and extended family that surrounded her with love and joy. She inherited her love for music from her grandfather who was always singing with her, and she still plays piano to this day.

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